Mark Drakeford announces new COVID-19 rules to come into force in Wales
Self-isolation and Covid Pass rules will be tightened
First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced changes to COVID-19 rules regarding self-isolation, testing in schools and the Covid Pass in Wales. These changes will come into force in the upcoming weeks.
Drakeford said that the nation needed to see rates fall in the next three weeks in order to prevent the reintroduction of some restrictions.
The new rules were revealed during the Welsh Government’s latest three-week review where it was also confirmed that there will be no change to Wales’ alert level.
But the First Minister did state during the review that there are no plans currently to ban large crowds, such as those in sporting venues and that there would be no changes to international travel.
These are the new changes announced by the Welsh Government:
According to new guidance, children, young people aged 5 to 17 and fully vaccinated adults should self-isolate until they receive a negative PCR test if a member of their household tests positive for Coronavirus. This is a change from the current rules which says that fully vaccinated people do not need to isolate if a member of their household tests positive, as long as they have no symptoms and a negative test.
Furthermore, if you are unvaccinated you will continue to need to isolate for 10 days if you have had contact with a person who has contracted Coronavirus, even if you do not live with them.
Drakeford has also expressed that even if you have had a negative PCR result, it is recommended to take daily lateral flow tests as a precaution and that if a test is positive, you will also need to isolate. He further continued to say that self-isolation support payments of £750 will still be available for those who are eligible.
It has also been stated that despite the rise of Covid-19 cases, there currently are no intentions to shut schools.
However, there will be some changes with headteachers being given extra support so that they are able to put measures in places quickly if their school is in an area where cases are high.
Furthermore, staff members and secondary school students will be advised to take lateral flow tests twice a week.
Under new Welsh Government guidance, from November 15, the use of Covid Passes will be extended to cinemas, concert venues and theatres.
The First Minister said that the reasoning for this decision is because of the close and prolonged contact between people in these venues. He also continued by saying the use of Covid Passes in restaurants and pubs is being considered and that the hospitality sector should prepare for this change over the coming weeks.
However, there are some larger events in which Covid Passes are exempt. These include:
• Nightclubs where at the relevant time there is no music being played of which people can dance to.
• Weddings, civil partnerships or wakes.
• If a premises has multiple points of entry e.g. a free fireworks display.
• Protests or picket lines.
• Mass participation sporting events.
• If the event is outdoors and does no require entrance fees or tickets.